By Annie Rose Welch
Amazon back-cover copy:
Do you believe in the power of dreams?
Way down south on Marigny Street in the heart of New Orleans, the land of Catholic intersessions, purgatory, and supernatural superstitions, young Evangeline Chenier dreams of a radiant boy who saves her from a storm. She takes the dream seriously – in her family, dreams are sometimes more than dreams. Sometimes they foretell the future. Sometimes they create it.
Years later, Eva is no longer the same wistful girl but a hardened woman who no longer believes in dreams. Losing faith in her gift, she becomes lost in a nightmare of emotion, mourning her son, separating from her husband, and stewing in a dead-end job. And then fate brings her an unlikely surprise: one of the most famous movie stars in the world, Gabriel Roberts.
Caught by something in his eyes, Eva agrees to show him the real Big Easy on his last night in New Orleans—an evening that turns into four dreamy days spent recapturing lost faith and discovering a love neither expected. Realizing Gabriel is the boy from her childhood dream, Eva must leave everything behind—her husband, her family, her history, and the beautiful city she calls home—and gamble it all for the dream that has saved her on MARIGNY STREET.
I actually just proofread this book the first time around, and by the end, I was fist-pumping the air and yelling, “You nailed it!” The end was that good. I ended up re-editing sections of it multiple times in a real collaboration with the author as beta readers made suggestions and agents made comments. And then we started working on the next books in the series.
Marigny Street is the first in a series of books that cover multiple characters in twisting story lines that come together in the last book. I fell in love with the characters and couldn’t wait to edit each one. I missed them when the books were done.
I really love Annie’s style of writing. She has a natural grasp of symbol and imagery that you just can’t teach a writer. You have to be born with it, and Annie was. Her stories are fabulous, but you can dig just as deep as you want for meaning and context and historical references and who knows what else I haven’t grasped yet?
Her main talent is she can tear your heart out or make you laugh out loud. I don’t cry often when I read, but Marigny made me cry, and it made me understand what it feels like to lose a child. Not understand with words. Annie made me feel what the character felt. That’s a rare talent.
But I love me a good plot, and Marigny has one of those too. It’s all paranormal and angelic and predestination. (And book 2 is even more so — hint hint.) It’s fun and funny as main character Eva introduces gorgeous movie star Gabriel to the real New Orleans for a single date that turns into an intense weekend. You end up yearning to visit the city and see some of the places only a native would know about. And the book is heartbreaking and touching and inspirational at the same time.
If you love a book with love at first sight, an unlikely love story with a celebrity, paranormal and angelic elements, with lots of crazy characters, set in the Big Easy … this is the book for you.